The Cine Europa Film Festival is back with its last run of 2016 this December at the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Cinematheque Centre Manila, with the festival presented to us by the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines and its member states, in partnership with the FDCP through its Film Cultural Exchange Program, and other cultural organizations.
Boasting 19 years and being one of the longest and largest local film festivals, the Cine Europa celebrates 25 years of the EU Delegation in the Philippines with the theme of “Friendship” to highlight years of cross-continental partnership and collaboration as well as the quality filmmaking cinema from all over Europe. Also in celebration of this friendship, a by-invitation only gala for delegates of the European Union as well as special guests of the FDCP will be conducted during the festival run on December 8, 5 pm, before the private screening of Inés París’s Miguel Y William at 7:30 pm.
21 films showcase at the Cinematheque Manila this month, showing us what friendship means to all different cultures and points-of-view from 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
The 19th Cine Europa films screening at the Cinematheque Manila are:
AUSTRIA: BROTHERS OF THE WIND
A tale of hope follows Lukas, a child burdened with his mother’s death and father’s grief, who finds love and release when he discovers a weak eagle chick.
BELGIUM: WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE (Dagen Zonder Lief)
After years spent in New York, Black Kelly returns home with new hair color and a discovery that her friends have changed dramatically as well, and her homecoming disturbs their new lives.
BULGARIA: LOVE & ENGINEERING
Computer engineer Atanas believes he’s solved the formula to love, so he and his friends test out his theory on how to find the perfect wife.
CZECH REPUBLIC: NORMAL: THE DÜSSELDORF RIPPER
Young lawyer Justus Wehner is assigned to defend Peter Kuerten, a serial killer, and as Wehner struggles to prove the murderer is insane, he himself stars to lose his grip on his life.
DENMARK: A SECOND CHANCE
Drunkard Simon and responsible husband Andreas are detectives with markedly different lives, but a domestic dispute case shakes both of them to the core and tests their limits.
Iiris, Karolina, and Eeva are waitresses in their mid-twenties and determined to have a perfect summer, but they must deal with the hard facts of adulthood along the way.
FRANCE: BEING 14
Teenage friends Sarah, Jade, and Louise return together on their final year of high school, and put through the wringer of adolescence, find themselves and the meaning of their friendship.
The lines of fact and fiction dissolve as filmmakers Alain Cavalier and Vincent Lindon, who play themselves as men pretending to be great contemporary political figures.
GERMANY: BELOVED SISTERS
In 18th century Germany, aristocratic sisters Charlotte and Caroline follow proper lives until they fall for the same man, beginning an entangled romance in a choice to share their love.
Only a tattoo reading “scoundrel” alludes to Erik’s dark past, but the motorbike workshop owner leads a peaceful family life—until the arrival of mysterious strangers in their quiet town.
ITALY: OF SINNERS AND SAINTS
Leonardo is an Italian priest re-appointed to the poor area of Payatas, and becomes determined to help an old flame, soon risking his duty to his church and his life.
ITALY: AMICI MIEI (MY FRIENDS)
A bar owner, a journalist, an architect, and a broken nobleman spend their days playing pranks to try to prolong their childhood in their middle age.
THE NETHERLANDS: DE MARATHON
A gang of best friends run a failing garage shop and get the idea to find a sponsor to pay their run in the Rotterdam marathon, with more at stake than just their business.
NORWAY: THE LIVERPOOL GOALIE
Smart, twelve-year-old Jo, is just trying to get through the torment of childhood and find a rare football card that would solve his problems, until he is scouted to become a goalie himself.
In the 1940s there is much yet to be discovered, so young Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl is adamant to sail on a raft in the Pacific Ocean to prove an unconventional theory.
POLAND: CARTE BLANCHE
History teacher Kacper is determined to hold on to his job and help his students with their finals, deciding to keep the diagnosis of his eventual blindness a secret to those around him.
Fresh high school graduates escape their responsibilities to their final exams, choosing the relief and rebellion of youth that the seaside offers them.
ROMANIA: BUCARESTI NONSTOP
A regular night brings together four ordinary people in unusual circumstances as their vastly different lives come together at Achim’s 24/7 convenience store.
SPAIN: MIGUEL Y WILLIAM
An opportunity for genius strikes when Leonor de Vibero finds in Spain the broken writer Miguel de Cervantes and her ex-lover William Shakespeare arrives to try to win her back.
SWEDEN: UNGA SOPHIE BELL
A move to Berlin spells a promising life for best friends Sophie and Alice, but when Alice mysteriously disappears, Sophie hunts her down, with the city opening her up to a new world.
UNITED KINGDOM: THE LADY IN THE VAN
Alan Bennett, a famous writer, and Mary Shepard, a woman with a secret past who lived in a parked van in front of Bennett’s house for fifteen years, become unlikely friends in this true story.
All screenings of the 19th Cine Europa at the Cinematheque Manila are free admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are released at the Cinematheque an hour before the screening time of each film.